Swiatek, Alcaraz, Fritz, Murray advance at BNP Paribas Open

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Top-ranked Iga Swiatek routed Claire Liu in 65 minutes to win her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open.

Swiatek, the defending champion who took over the No. 1 ranking nearly a year ago, won 6-0, 6-1. She lost just seven points in the first set.

“Tactically and tennis-wise, everything was on point,” she said. “I had so many matches that were going my way in last couple of weeks that I know what to do.”

Carlos Alcaraz, the second-ranked men’s player, defeated qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-3, 6-3. Alcaraz reached the semifinals in the desert last year and could return to the No. 1 spot for the first time since January if he wins the title.

Taylor Fritz, the defending men’s champion, rallied past former NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Shelton’s biggest serve reached 147 mph.

“I expected him to come out serving bombs, playing well,” Fritz said. “I was ready for it, I just had to regroup, just find a way and problem solve. He’s an incredible player and it was an extremely tough first match to come out and play, so I’m happy to get through it.”

Andy Murray beat Radu Albot, 6-4, 6-3 in his first straight-set victory of the year to set up a third-round match with Jack Draper. Murray had just 18 unforced errors to 35 for Albot, and never faced a break point on his serve while firing six aces.

“Hopefully I can keep pushing myself up the rankings, keep building that confidence, and maybe get a few more straightforward draws, as well,” Murray said.

Jannik Sinner defeated Richard Gasquet, 6-3, 7-6 (2). The 21-year-old Sinner fired 20 forehand winners against the 36-year-old veteran.

“Obviously it was a tough match today, especially in the beginning I was a little bit tight,” Sinner said on court.

Another 21-year-old, Draper, beat No. 24 Dan Evans, 6-4, 6-2. Draper has lost just eight games through his first two matches of his Indian Wells debut.

No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the third round with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Pedro Martinez.

Emma Raducanu, the 2021 U.S. Open champion, beat No. 20 Magda Linette, 7-6 (3), 6-2. Linette, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, got an early service break, but Raducanu jumped on her serve and tied it, 5-all, before forcing the tiebreaker.

“I was so pleased with the way I fought. Because Magda played at a really high level,” Raducanu said. “Like some things that were working in the past weren’t working today, and I adapted.”

No. 5 Carolina Garcia outlasted Dalma Galfi, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4. Eighth-seeded Daria Kasatkina beat Tatjana Maria, 6-2, 6-1.

Karolina Muchova beat two-time Indian Wells champion Victoria Azarenka, 7-6 (1), 6-3 while attacking the net in swirling wind conditions. Muchova is back after injuries curtailed her last year.

Other seeded players joining Azarenka on the sidelines were No. 25 Petra Martic and No. 28 Marie Bouzkova.

Elena Rybakina hits 10 aces in Miami for 12th straight win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina extended her winning streak to 12 matches by delivering 10 aces – her fourth consecutive outing with at least that many – in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over 25th-seeded Martina Trevisan in the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Rybakina has 46 aces through four matches at the hard-court tournament in Florida and a WTA-leading 201 this season.

The 23-year-old, who represents Kazakhstan, improved to 20-4 in 2023, including a run to the Australian Open final in January and a title at Indian Wells, California, last week.

She is trying to become only the fifth player to win the women’s trophies at Indian Wells and Miami in the same season. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek did it a year ago; she withdrew from Miami this time because of a rib injury.

“Of course it would be amazing to achieve something like that,” the 10th-seeded Rybakina said about the prospect of completing what’s known as the Sunshine Double, “but it’s still far away.”

So far in Rybakina’s career, 13 of her 18 semifinal appearances have come on hard courts. She will face No. 3 Jessica Pegula for a berth in the final after the American fought off two match points and outlasted No. 27 Anastasia Potapova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) in a match that ended just before 1:30 a.m. after play had been delayed by rain.

“I haven’t been that physically tired in just a really long time,” Pegula said. “Just the humidity was taking so much out of me, and I haven’t been able to play in humidity like that in a while. It was just really tough, so really, it was just pure will.”

Trevisan reached the French Open semifinals in 2022.

In fourth-round men’s action Tuesday, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten 7-6 (4), 6-4 by No. 14 Karen Khachanov, while defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner all beat seeded opponents in straight sets.

Alcaraz, who returned to No. 1 in the ATP rankings last week, got past Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting against Fritz, the top-ranked American man and seeded ninth in Miami.

Fritz compiled twice as many winners, 22, as unforced errors, 11, and only dropped serve once during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Holger Rune. That put Fritz into his first quarterfinal in seven appearances in Miami – and his first matchup against Alcaraz, a 19-year-old from Spain who won the U.S. Open in September for his first Grand Slam title.

“I’m really excited for it,” Fritz said. “I think that a lot of people are really excited for that, too.”

No. 10 Sinner eliminated No. 6 Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Sinner’s next opponent will be unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori, a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 winner against No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp.

No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, forced to start late and off his scheduled court after the rain, beat Quentin Halys 6-4, 6-2. He will face American Christopher Eubanks, who edged Adrian Mannarino in a pair of tiebreakers.

Khachanov will play Francisco Cerundolo, a semifinalist in Miami last year, in the other men’s quarterfinal.

Fritz, Sinner reach Miami Open quarterfinals with 2-set wins

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner beat seeded opponents in straight sets at the Miami Open to move into the quarterfinals.

No. 9 Fritz compiled twice as many winners, 22, as unforced errors, 11, and only dropped serve once during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Holger Rune.

That put Fritz, the highest-ranked American man, into his first quarterfinal in seven appearances at the hard-court tournament.

He will face either No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul next. Alcaraz is the defending champion in Miami.

No. 10 Sinner eliminated No. 6 Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Sinner’s next opponent will be No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp or unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori.